Job seekers of all ages, but especially older adults looking for work later in life, should apply a future-focused approach to resume creation and when pitching skills and abilities to prospective employers.
That’s one of the many helpful tips and suggestions offered by Magnet Executive Director Mark Patterson in a recent interview for the Canadian Abilities Foundation’s Parlay series. Parlay is a new education program from CAF that’s designed to encourage, assist, and connect older Canadians in their search for employment and volunteer opportunities.
A veteran resume coach and counsellor before launching Magnet, Patterson told Parlay host Joel Dembe why he considers it important to “get out of the historical mindset’ when building a new resume.
“Stick to the facts, but try to make sure you’re bringing up things from your past experience that relate to the future role you’re applying for,” Patterson said. “That, I think, is one of the biggest things.
“Don’t just look historically and write down what you did, think about the future. That’s a really important thing across almost every resume that I’ve seen over the years. It’s the biggest challenge, at a high level, of how people are framing their resumes.”
Once you’ve highlighted the skills and abilities that set you apart, don’t be afraid to emphasize them when negotiating salary with a potential employer, Patterson said.
“If you can articulate your value, and so on, then you should not be afraid to negotiate. The issue is a lot of people aren’t able to make a case for why they should earn more than the employer is offering. They’re not able to articulate why their experience is going to bring more value to the employer.”
At a time when automation and artificial intelligence are creating disruption for workers across different sectors, and with technology becoming an increasingly important aspect of many jobs, Patterson encouraged job seekers of all ages to pursue opportunities to develop their skills through education and training. He cited the story of American Donzella Washington, who obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at age 80.
“I’m of the mind that it’s always worth pursuing skills development,” Patterson said. “People feel empowered when they’re learning and training and developing, and you are never too old to develop new skills.”
Watch the full interview here: